As first reported on "CBS This Morning," the research vessel Petrel discovered the wreckage of the USS Hornet in late January 2019, 77 years after the Hornet sank in battle. The World War II aircraft carrier, best known for launching the important Doolittle Raid in April 1942 and its role in winning the Battle of Midway, was found more than 17,000 feet below the surface of the South Pacific Ocean near the Solomon Islands.
Two 20 mm Oerlikons located on the port quarter
Funded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who had a passion for maritime history, the Petrel is a state-of-the-art, deep-sea research vessel. It dropped a torpedo-shaped underwater drone programmed to dive down and to scan the sea floor with sonar waves, looking for something that shouldn't naturally be there.
USS Hornet's 5-inch gun
The wreckage of the USS Hornet had been lost for 77 years after a major World War II battle between the U.S. and Imperial Japanese Navies.
USS Hornet's 5-inch gun director
The USS Hornet was engaged in the 1942 battle for control of the skies over Guadalcanal, where U.S. Marines were holding a crucial airstrip the Japanese desperately wanted back.
Damage on the hull of USS Hornet
With 140 of her crew already dead, the order was given to abandon ship. The Japanese then sank the USS Hornet and it sank three and a half miles to the bottom of the ocean.
F4F-4 Wildcat with its wings folded
Petrel's search in 140 square miles of ocean was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
First station on the USS Hornet deck
The Petrel needed positive identification, which they got when they saw the Hornet's naval designation: CV-8.
Aircraft tug on the USS Hornet
This eerie underwater image shows an International Harvester aircraft tug.
Signal horn atop USS Hornet tower
The exact location of the wreck is kept secret to protect the USS Hornet, but the memory now has a place, and the loss has a memorial.
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